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Six weeks in Europe

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Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
Located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe was inspired by Rome's Arch of Titus and commissioned by Napoleon in 1806. It was inaugurated in 1836 by King Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the revolution...
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11000 Carcassonne, France
Maneuvering a family of five and their luggage through the Paris metro is not a feat for the faint of heart. No surprise then that we missed not one but two trains to Carcassonne and arrived there at nearly midnight rather than one in the...
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Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland
The question begged to be asked. Here we were, walking through the Lauterbrunnen Valley, passing a trailer campground, and seeing a trailer with . . . a New Mexico license plate in its window. I'm fairly certain the guy outside it didn't drive...
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Füssen, Germany
Never-athletic fortyish women should not believe they can scramble up the side of a mountain after three able-bodied teenagers. Wearing a skirt. Yet there I was, in the Bavarian Alps, on a top secret mission, clinging to an old wire fence and...
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00186 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
The Roman Forum is where ancient Rome began. The sprawling archaeological park gives us just a hint of what the Roman Empire once was—a dominant and diverse society. The Forum itself was the political, social, religious, and commercial focal...
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Toulon, France
Originally, plans had us hopping a train from Barcelona to Geneva for a few days in Switzerland before Italy. Originally, until the maitre'd of ticket taking at Gard du Nord looked up from his ever-clicking computer and said, “Non.” What do you...
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An address won't help you much on Burano. If you're looking for a specific spot on this tiny archipelago off the Venetian coast, let color be your guide. According to legend, island homes were painted in vivid hues to help fishermen find their way...
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19017 Manarola, SP, Italy
No one in our family swims well. But when faced with cliffs, gentian seas, and no girls willing to challenge the guys, what's a teenage girl to do? My daughters, apparently, knew the answer. Jump off thirty-foot cliffs. I could handle this only...
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Klosterhof 1, 6390 Engelberg, Switzerland
We can't say we weren't warned that the weather might turn. Still, when the hike through Switzerland changed from a Sound of Music stroll into a muddy wet tramp, my daughters and I felt the of appearance of a lace-curtained farm/restaurant...